As we mark the second year since Steve gained his angel wings I want to get these thoughts I’ve been gathering out to share. I’ve been jotting them down for some time and pardon me if they seem random, I’ll try to assemble them in order. It will also give you a look into my mind as I try to maneuver through this new world of mine.
Suffering a devastating loss, and for me a sudden loss was the.most difficult event of my life. I not only lost ‘my person’, I lost my support system. I lost the one person that I trusted most in life, I lost all of my hopes, my dreams and all of our future plans – in the blink of an eye at 9:47pm on July 21, 2014. BOOM – finished, done, the.end!!! I also lost my identity; I was a happily married woman of 37 years, the co-leader of our amazing family and now a widow, the sole head of my broken family.
The one thing I knew for certain was that I HAD to heal myself so I could help my family. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to lead others through this life change. I wanted to be an example of a statement that Steve used, ‘life is for the living’. It was extremely clear to me now more than ever that we are not promised tomorrow-
I am a fixer by nature, and I needed to fix this. It took me a while to realize that unfortunately I can’t fix everything… I can’t fix the pain of my kids never seeing or talking with their Dad again. I can’t fix the empty chair at the table. I can’t fix the hole in our family unit. What I could fix is ME, to enable me to be present for them when they need me, to listen empathetically and to help them and others through this loss.
I saw a therapist in an effort to heal, to have my feelings validated and to gain guidance. There is no quick cure, there is no timeframe for grief… It is as individual as your fingerprint!! I continue to work on getting myself stronger and provide support for others as they need.
I still hurt, I still get sad, I have bad days – these bad days can be triggered by many things, sometimes something very simple. However, I can see that when these days do occur (I call them dark times) I spend less time there before rebounding back to life. I continue to learn more about myself and how to manage without my husband. Some things I cannot do, but whenever I can I am independent and do projects on my own. I am constantly aware of my own strength – the fact that I continue to rise each day and contribute to life speaks of that!!
I still miss and love ‘my person’… Steve was my first love, my best friend, and my true love. When you lose that person in your life, you don’t get over it, you move forward… You have too! and by moving forward I mean you have to take that journey that includes finding yourself again. I made the choice to live life, to move forward – this choice has not been easy or always accepted, but I wanted to be happy again.
I branched out and tried new activities, made new friends and spent time with old friends. I met a wonderful man that shares the understanding of having your true love pass away. This new relationship does not replace or diminish the love I had for Steve! We are capable of loving what was and loving what is… one does not cancel out the other. Love expands the heart, it’s okay to honor the past and embrace the future.
I have high hopes for my future, I’m not going to let being a widow define me but it is what I am. I am also an example of life giving you lemons, and I ‘m making lemonade!!!
In closing, a couple of favorite phrases..,
* Live the life you have left
* Dance in the rain, dance like no one is watching!!!
* One life, don’t blow it